Backstrap Venison ….. Thai style!

We had the good fortune to have backstrap venison grilled at our good friend Rob and Mandy’s ….Rob being the hunter … and further good fortune as they sent us home with the leftover, rare grilled venison.  It was amazing the first time, and just as fabulous as a “leftover”  … repurposed as a Thai style salad.

The instructions for this are VERY loose.  It involved what I call creative cooking, or clean out the fridge.
Thai Style Backstrap Venison

Pan roast some peanuts, and if you are fortunate enough to have a mortar and pestle, grind them up a bit with about 1 tsp chili flakes (obviously to your taste).  Add tamarind, palm sugar (2 tsp?) freshly squeezed lime juice, light soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, roasted sesame seeds and even a bit of peanut oil.  A little of this, a little of that.  Keep doing that until your taste buds sing and you can hardly wait to dress your salad.

Thinly slice red onion, and pour boiling water over.  10 seconds later, yes, TEN SECONDS, pour the water off – add a bit of kosher salt, a few chili flakes, and cover with freshly squeezed lime juice …. (if you run short top it up with regular vinegar)

Cook up a few ramen noodles, or rice noodles, or whatever you have on hand.

Lay the cooled noodles over a serving platter, and build your salad on top of that with whatever strikes your fancy. (and is in your fridge)   Add some thinly slivered protein – i.e. the venison, or you could use cooked chicken, steak, and prawns.  Again – totally up to you!  (and if you are looking for a vegetarian option – do some tofu!)

Top with the quick pickled red onion, some of your roasted peanuts, sesame seeds – and although I didn’t have any today – I would have loved some bean sprouts and fresh cilantro over it all …..

Roasted Squash Soup with Chipotle & Chorizo

It is squash season and soup is the best way to enjoy those cool fall nights.

Chipotle Chorizo Squash Soup
1 butternut squash

1 red onion

6 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 chorizo sausage

2 tsp chipotle chile in adobo sauce

cilantro, roughly chopped

green onion, sliced

 

Quarter a whole squash lengthwise, quarter the onion, & drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast at 375 until fork tender.

While the squash and onion are roasting, remove chorizo from casing, and crumble into soup pot.  Fry until sausage is crispy, and allow to drain on a paper towel. Drain any residual grease from pot, but do not clean.

In same soup pot heat up chicken or vegetable stock.  When squash and onions are fork tender take them out of the oven and remove skins and put the pulp into the pot.  Simmer until quite tender.

Using an immersion blender puree until smooth.  (Alternatively you could use a blender and blend in small batches, but always remember to leave room for the steam to escape out the lid or it will explode and you and your kitchen will be covered in hot, steamy soup …. NOT a good thing).  

Return to simmer, and taste – adjust for seasonings with salt, pepper and if you like it spicy, add a bit more chipotle.

Garnish with cilantro, green onion and crispy chorizo.

Serve as a starter course or a whole meal with fresh hot baking powder biscuits.

Use your imagination – all soup recipes are just a starting point.  Tonight’s version of this soup included some leftovers …. in this case I had some leftover stewed yellow heirloom tomatoes with squash (yum yum), and a little bit of chipotle chicken leftover, so they went into the pot before using the immersion blender.